Climate Change blame poll

The UK needs some help from us. One of their ministers has got some weird ideas about climate change.

The chairman of the Commons Energy and Climate Change committee said he accepts the earth’s temperature is increasing but said “natural phases” may be to blame.

Such a suggestion sits at odds with the scientific consensus. One recent survey of 12,000 academic papers on climate change found 97 per cent agree human activities are causing the planet to warm.

So they’re trying to settle it with a poll.

Are humans responsible for global warming?

Yes – completely  17.46%

Yes – but only partially  28.4%

No – it’s a natural phenomenon  54.14%

You know, that’s a really stupid set of answers that looks like it was intentionally designed to split the vote. “Completely” or “partially”? That makes no sense. If we have an equilibrium situation where heat inputs and losses are balanced, and humans come along and tip that balance, are you just going to say they’re only partially at fault, because the sun is pumping all that energy into the system? It’s silly phrasing.

If Mr Bean visits the grocery store and pulls out the bottom can in a neatly stacked pyramid of canned goods, causing the whole thing to tumble down in a mess, are you going to say he was only partly to blame for the chaos?

I’m not even going to think about the ignorance of the 54%.


Ja, we shall invade this Austrian poll

Hey, I thought Europe was more secular…so why is this poll going the wrong way? Oh, because it’s in Catholic Austria.

In German:

Sollen Kruzifixe aus den Klassenzimmern verbannt werden?

17,68% – Ja, denn Religion soll Privatsache bleiben.

77,04% – Nein, denn das Christentum hat in Österreich jahrhundertelange Tradition.

5,28% – Egal, es liegt sowieso an den Eltern, ihren Kindern Religion nahezubringen.

Auf Englisch:

Should crucifixes should be banned from classrooms?

17.68% – Yes, because religion should remain a private matter.

77.04% – No, because Christianity has centuries-long tradition in Austria.

5.28% – Doesn’t matter, it is up to the parents to bring their children up in a religion.

Can a bunch of Americans reverse this trend? That would be weird.

Malkin’s stupidity is seeping into Iowa soil!

Once again, ignorant people are whining about science. Michelle Malkin’s outrage that the NSF funded research into snail sex is now the subject of a poll in Iowa newspapers.

Is spending $877,000 to help fund a UI study using snails to study the advantages of sexual vs. asexual reproduction a waste of federal money?

Yes. Federal research dollars are becoming more scarce and should be used for more valuable work. 25%

No. I agree with the researchers who say, even though research involves snails, this study has broad implications for humans. 70%

I don’t know. 4%

I detest all of the answers. A) Who are the readers to judge whether this work is valuable or not? Do they have the biology background to understand the significance of the question, have they read the proposal? B) Why is it being framed in terms of “implications for humans”? It’s human self-centeredness that insists everything has to revolve around us…maybe it’s just a really cool question.

But I don’t think $877,000 is at all an unreasonable sum.

Kentucky poll could use your help

It’s very oddly phrased. It’s about educators trying to improve the quality of science teaching, and one choice is to agree, because they need improving…and the other is to disagree, because of this “teach all sides” nonsense they get from organizations like the Discovery Institute. But that’s irrelevant; teaching about evolution and climate change is good science, and they’re correcting an omission of one side, the valid side.

I think it’s a distorted poll, trying to get the knee-jerk positive response to the “teach all points of view!” slogan. It doesn’t look like it’s working, fortunately.

Educators recommend new science standards that include teaching evolution and the effects of humans on climate. Agree?

Yes. Our schools aren’t adequately preparing out students in the sciences. 65.2%

No. How can they adequately prepare students if all points of view aren’t heard? 34.7%

Poll on gay marriage—not on our supreme court case, but in New Zealand

Wait, it’s our Supreme Court that is considering arguments on gay marriage. I guess New Zealanders can also consider it an important issue, but why are they getting is so wrong?

Which of the following best fits your view about marriage law?

It should remain only between a man and a woman. 56%
It should be changed to allow it between same sex couples. 39%
I don’t know/I don’t care. 5%

You know, in ten years people are going to be wondering what the heck was wrong with all the people opposing civil rights.

Prayer poll

Not another one of these — all over the country, towns open their council meetings with pointless prayers, and when someone points out that that is unconstitutional and stupid, they go whining to their local paper or radio station and make an appeal to the Christian sheep in their region. So this is just one out of a multitude, but go ahead, try to wake up the parochial little pissants in Rowlett, Texas.

Should prayer continue before Rowlett City Council meetings?

Yes 69%
No 31%

A punishment poll

The Magdalene Laundries were a horrible blot on Irish history — thousands of young women and girls were basically enslaved by the Catholic church and abused and exploited. The Irish government is taking steps to make amends and be open about this unsavory taint, and one of the things proposed is to pay compensation to the surviving victims. Seems only reasonable, right? The church profited, it’s fair to extract the money criminally acquired back, with some punitive damages as well.

But no — the nuns who tortured and mistreated girls are unapologetic and claim they provided a “service”, and that €200,000 (less than €7 per victim!) was “excessive”.

There’s a poll. Apparently a majority of the respondents think the nuns are right. The horrible, awful, nasty nuns.

Should the religious orders involved pay compensation to the survivors of the Magdalene laundries?

Yes 31%
No 61%
Don’t know 7%

An Australian Football poll

And it’s not about those weird rules! Someone got very upset at those gays flaunting their sexuality at games.


Lest you think that maybe she’s homophobic, she added this in an interview later:

“I am not homophobic. I know lots of gay people.”

Ah, classic!

Obviously, this issue needs a poll. I would have thought the obvious one would be something about the apparent total lack of women cheerleaders in skimpy outfits at Australian football games, or possibly something expressing incredulity that Australian football players don’t grab each other’s asses when they score a goal, but no…it’s about supporting gay players. And it’s tied.

Should there be a gay pride round in the AFL?

Yes 50%
No 50%

Ooh, I hate to see a tied game. Go break it.

Can you handle two polls in a day?

Here’s another one. A few Australian political leaders are taking a cue from the Americans and following a piecemeal approach to destroy abortion rights. You know how this works: the majority of the population favors those rights (and gay rights, and marijuana decriminialization, and so many other reasonable positions), so the haters get into office and start nibbling around the edges. They start choking off funding here and there, they throw money at propaganda, they make it increasingly difficult to get a basic medical procedure, and before you know it, abortion doctors are marginalized, people who get abortions are treated as pariahs, and public opinion starts to shift, because ignorance is a fairly potent lobbying group.

So the Australians have been doing the same thing. At least some people are noticing and beginning to speak up.

Should abortion laws be tightened using federal government legislation as flagged by Senator John Madigan?

Yes 43%

No 54%

Not sure 3%

There was one other little bit that I wanted to comment on.

On Wednesday, Senator Madigan will introduce a motion in the Senate aimed at stopping the public funding of abortions that are used purely to select boys or girls.

He told my colleague Lenore Taylor that he had ”seen data that abortion on the basis of gender selection is happening overseas and that means it is likely to be happening here”.

This may be an unpopular opinion, but if we’re going to be consistent and regard fetuses as undeserving of the rights of full adult humans, and if we’re going to respect the woman’s right to choose her own reproductive future, we can’t be in the business of telling women what good reasons they’re allowed to use. Elective abortions to select the sex of their child are perfectly reasonable, rational decisions. They should be allowed, and we shouldn’t be horrified if women elect to do them.

There is a problem that many people devalue girls so much that they could skew the sex ratio. But that’s a completely different issue — the institutionalizing of patriarchal values — and it isn’t addressed by dictating the choices women may make with their own bodies.

I also find it ironic that it is the same people who unthinkingly promote those patriarchal values who are horrified that they lead to women opting to abort more female fetuses. I’m not impressed that you insist on the right of girls to be brought to term so you can treat them as disposable once they reach reproductive age.

Netroots Nation offering admission by poll?

Netroots Nation is the big progressive political conference sponsored by the gang at the Daily Kos. It’s being held in San Jose this year, at the end of June. They are opening the doors to their exhibition hall and giving 6 organizations free booth space — and among those vying for a slot is American Atheists. I would have thought they’d just give AA the space because progressives and atheists are such a natural match for each other…but no. They’ve decided that the way to determine who should get this space is by…an open, public, online poll.

Oh, we’ve got this.

Go take a look at the list of candidates for the free booth space. American Atheists is a natural, but I’ve got to say…there are a lot of worthy possibilities there. Wrestle with your conscience for a bit and vote for the one you like best.

Oooh, maybe we don’t have this. You people are always exercising your brains and thinking about your choices, and you might go haring off and voting with your mind rather than your shriveled little obedience gland.